260668 Variation in State Statutes Governing Local Board of Health Structure

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Elizabeth Harper, BS , College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
F. Douglas Scutchfield, MD , College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Julia F. Costich, JD, PhD , College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Local boards of health (LBOH) are the governing bodies for local health departments. Efforts to characterize and examine these boards have been complicated by their wide variation. In many cases simply defining a board of health can be difficult. The dependence of LBOH duties and responsibilities on heterogeneous state statutes adds further complexity. Forty-four state statutes address a range of issues from appointing authority to duties of the board. In some cases state statutes are outdated and boards vary in their use of the authority specified. We describe the LBOH state statutes, establish a timeline of their creation, and examine associations between statutory language and county health outcomes.

The National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH), in an effort to characterize board governance, created a national profile survey instrument. While the overall response rate to this survey was low there was a simple random sample of 353 boards built into the national survey, representing 35 states. Our approach builds on current research by creating a complete typology of every state statute in the sample regarding LBOH. We aggregate similar laws to support a cluster analysis. This analysis creates a clearer picture of what the most advantageous governance model would be with regards to specific county health outcomes. These clusters test against the 2010 County Health Ranking Data to identify any relationship between statutory language and health outcomes.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe the state statutes concerning local boards of health for the 35 states contained in the 2010 NALBOH Profile Survey random sample. 2.Classify LBOH statutes by decade of original enactment and amendment. 3.Identify associations between types of LBOH statutes and county health outcomes in a cluster analysis model.

Keywords: Law, Performance Measures

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a research assistant at the University of Kentucky, where I assist and conduct reserch projects. I will be completing my MPH in May with a concentration in health services management. I will be continuing at the University of Kentucky, working toward a doctorate in public health. My special research interests are in local boards of health and public health law and policy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.